Remember when Apple launched Ping? It was supposed to be the quintissential social network for anyone who loved music. Except that Apple crippled Ping right out of the gate, and we learned that it wasn't really a social network at all - it was just another method the company wanted to take advantage of to get people to buy more music. It was annoying and resrictive. You could only talk about music that was available on iTunes...and nothing more. Recently, it was rumored that Apple would kill Ping, and now it has been confirmed. Ping closes its doors on September 30th. Anyone out there upset by the closure? Anyone?
Apple has released a redesigned model of its Airport Express base station. The new model looks very similar to the Apple TV, except that it's white. The new model sports a couple of features that the previous one didn't: dual Ethernet ports (compared to just one on the last one,) and simultaneous dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi. The Airport Express is $99, available today from the Apple Store.
Read More | Airport Express
Belkin announced the N900 DB router back at CES. The Advance N900 DB is a dual-band Wi-Fi router that supports 802.11a/b/g/n connections, capable of reaching 450 Mbps speeds due in part to its six MultiBeam antennas. The Belkin Advance N900 DB also sports a feature called IntelliStream, which automatically prioritizes video streaming, gaming, and VoIP data. The router also packs a 600 MHz multi-thread processor, and two USB 2.0 ports that you can connect hard drives to for access to that data from network devices. The Belkin Advance N900 DB is available now for $199--but is it worth your hard-earned Bejamins? We answer that question in our review.
AT&T has just announced that they've come to agreement with Deutsche Telekom to purchase T-Mobile USA for $39 billion in cash and stock. Here in the USA, AT&T and T-Mobile are the two GSM wireless carriers, and combined, they currently serve 130 million customers. The deal still needs to be approved by the various regulatory agencies, and the companies have said they expect it to take just about a year before all is said and done. We're sure it'll al go smoothly, and we'll soon be left with just three major carriers in the US. Full press release after the break.
Building on their line of Squeezebox and Transporter music network devices, Logitech is introducing the Squeezebox Duet. Consisting of a brand new controller with a full-color 2.4 inch LCD screen and a receiver that utilizes 802.11g, the Duet allows users to stream music from any computer to any room with an audio setup in the house, browse their music collection, and view album art.
When the Squeezebox Duet’s receiver is registered, users can even use the receiver and remote to browse Internet radio stations, subscription-based music services, and music that the user has uploaded to the open-source SqueezeNetwork, no computer required. Additional receivers can be added in order to control the music in every room in the house, separately or synced so that every room is playing the same thing. For people already using the Squeezebox (and Transporter) system, controllers can be purchased alone and integrated into an existing network.
Squeezebox Duet will be released this month and will retail for $400. Individual receivers will retail for $150, and standalone controllers will retail for $300.
Read More | Logitech Press Release
If you’re familiar with the wide world of internet radio, you know it’s filled with thousands of stations from all over the world, and can be accessed by devices such as this one from Acoustic Energy. Well now you can wake up to one of these stations, courtesy of the Tangent Quattro WiFi Alarm Radio. It’s a retro-looking device that links up to your wireless network—and accesses over 6000 internet radio stations around the globe. In other words, you don’t need a computer and there’s no fees involved! Arise to Bhangra beats one day, Brazilian samba the next (and yes, there’s a snooze alarm). Plus, the Quattro can wirelessly stream music stored in your computer and you can even attach your MP3 player and use it as a speaker! Love it! Available in various colors for $250 USD, although for some reason “High Gloss White” is $50 more.
Read More | Firebox
Want to do more than just throw away your old stuff now that you have better gadgets amassed from the holidays? Started in 2003, the Freecycle Network is filled with freebies. It claims to save more than 300 million tons of trash every day by recycling. There are now more than 4 million members from 4,100 cities, so if you haven’t been there lately, visit it again.
The site also features volunteer moderators who make sure the swaps are legal and G-rated. Founder Deron Beal is proud that Freecycle helped a Hurricane Katrina victim refurnish his home and features such acts of kindness as the man who assembles bike parts then gives them away. Think of it as a kinder, more generous craig’s list.
Read More | Freecycle Network
Yesterday morning brought Apple‘s iPhone Update version 1.1.1 which included a bevy of new features including the slick new WiFi music store for the iPod Touch and the iPhone. The WiFi music store lets users purchase songs on-the-go using any WiFi hotspot which essentially puts the entire multi-million track library of iTunes in your pocket - perfect for a quick impulse buy from time to time.
Unfortunately not all users are able to get the shiny new storefront to work. Several of the iPhone owning editors at Gear Live were able to update their iPhone and use the WiFi music store successfully - I was not. Worse yet I don’t appear to be alone as other users have reported similar problems on the internet. Click through the jump for full details on why the iTunes WiFi music store isn’t working for us.
A research paper from Electronic Entertainment Design and Research has been released that suggests that games with online support can be crucial to a game’s retail success. Not surprisingly, another way to boost sales is to create a quality game (defined as those with a 90+ score on Metacritic), with these well-reviewed titles outselling the average release well above 5-to-1.
While making good games typically means making good money, naturally, it is a bit surprising to see the report indicate that sales can be doubled by dropping in an online mode. With online games selling twice the number copies that offline titles do, it’s curious to note that over half of games released don’t offer even basic online support.
Read More | Ars Technica
Apple has announced that it will no longer be offering NBC programs through its iTunes Store. The network broke relations with Apple after they refused to pay more than double the wholesale price for each show. This would have forced the price up to $4.99 per episode rather than the $1.99, which fellow studios ABC, CBS, FOX, The CW, and 50 cable networks now share. Because their contract doesn’t expire until December, Apple decided not to air any of their shows until then so as not to interrupt a series in mid-season. We know a better way to catch them which will not cost us a cent. We believe it is referred to as television watching.
Read More | PR Newswire